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New Delhi, Mon, 11 Jun 2012 NI Wire

Atherosclerosis (also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease or ASVD) is a condition in which an artery wall thickens or commonly refers as hardening of arteries due to the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol. It is a syndrome affecting arterial blood vessels, caused largely by the accumulation of macrophage white blood cells and promoted by low-density lipoproteins (plasma proteins that carry cholesterol and triglycerides) without adequate removal of fats and cholesterol from the macrophages by functional high-density lipoproteins (HDL). It is caused due to the formation of multiple plaques within the arteries.

It's Plaque majorly divided under three portion that is the atheroma ("lump of gruel") from which is the nodular accumulation of a soft, flaky, yellowish material at the center of large plaques, composed of macrophages nearest the lumen of the artery. Second, Underlying areas of cholesterol crystals and third is, Calcification at the outer base of older/more advanced lesions.

Causes of Atherosclerosis

Some of the risk factors for atherosclerosis include being overweight or obese, having high cholesterol, and cigarette smoking. While not technically atherosclerosis causes, these factors can contribute to a person's risk of developing the disease. The specific cause of the disease remains unknown.

Atherosclerosis does not occur in children, but can begin forming as early as the teen years. Until progressing to an advanced stage, For in Men it is at the age of 45 and in women it is at the age of 55.

How to reduce risk and maintain healthy life from Atherosclerosis?

There are many treatments available for making body free from this disease. Treatment can be Natural and Medication both. Natural treatment works as new dimension and hope for patient suffering from it. For fighting and reducing risk from such a vulnerable disease one should have to do daily exercise and have to make changes in diet and in lifestyle. Adding fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, olive oil, and vegetable oil. Maintaining a healthy weight will help to lessen the severity of your condition. If you smoke, you'll need to quit. Reducing stress and limiting alcohol use can also improve your heart health. And if you have diabetes, you will need to carefully manage it. Be sure to see your doctor regularly.

Medication of Atherosclerosis

There are several medications available to treat many of the underlying causes of atherosclerosis, such as a high cholesterol level and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may only need to take one medication, or you may need to take a combination of different medications. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Calcium channel blockers, Thiazide diuretics. For High cholesterol levels Statins, Antiplatelets and surgeries Coronary angioplasty, Carotid arteries, Coronary artery bypass graft, Carotid angioplasty are also there.

Research suggests that eating 2,000mg of sterols and stanols a day reduces levels of LDL cholesterol by around 10% which, in turn, should reduce the risk of heart disease by around 25%.

Most people, with the possible exception of some vegetarians, have a much smaller intake of plant sterols and stanols than 2,000mg. The average intake is about 100-450 mg.

There are now a number of commercial products, promoted for their alleged 'cholesterol-lowering' effects, which contain higher levels of sterols and stanols. These include special types of yoghurt, milk, margarine and cheese.

However, there is not currently enough evidence to confirm whether plant sterols and stanols are an effective method of preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Further research is required to clarify the issue.

------> This article is written by Suparna Chawla

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